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Wacky energy

On Treehugger, a round-up of the most bizarre new sources of energy.

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After Kyoto

Two good pieces on the fight to cut CO2 emissions post-Kyoto (and post-reelection of Bush, who will never sign it), one from The Guardian and one from Environmental Science & Technology. Update [2005-1-28 16:7:48 by Dave Roberts]: It's a little old, but this piece over on GreenBiz is also on the same theme.

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Mississippi

Is it me, or is the transition between the first two paragraphs of this NYT story rather jarring? PORT GIBSON, Miss., Jan. 20 - Facing the possibility that a utility company would try to build a new nuclear reactor here, the City of Port Gibson and surrounding Claiborne County moved swiftly last month to protect the interests of their residents. "We're willing to do whatever it takes to do to make this happen," said Amelda J. Arnold, the city's mayor. Last month, city aldermen voted unanimously to urge the Entergy Corporation, which already operates one reactor here, to build a …

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Arctic Power

I can't believe how many mind-boggling things are packed into this short story on Arctic Power, the lobbying group devoted to getting oil companies access to ANWR. Let us begin.Arctic Power is funded in part by the state government of Alaska. Whaaa?! Did other people know this? I didn't. Arctic Power's members include some of the richest oil companies on the planet, although BP dropped out a while ago, and ConocoPhillips dropped out a few weeks ago, leaving mainly ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil -- but still, they can't afford to do their own lobbying? Alaska has given Arctic Power about $9 …

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Shared space

Speaking of cool trends, here's one that's even cooler but, sadly, less likely to make it to our shores. Cities in Denmark, Scandinavia, and possibly in the near future, Britain [* see update] are dealing with traffic through what might be called creative chaos: They're removing signs, lights, and guardrails to create open public spaces, where cars and pedestrians mix freely, ungoverned by any rules. Sound crazy? Consider the results from Dutch towns where the approach has been tried: Drivers start to behave in a very different way amid the new uncertainty, moving slowly, making eye contact with pedestrians, and …

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Political pragmatism

Via Marshall Wittman, aka the Bull Moose, an NYT op-ed by Paul Starr: Social Security, progressive taxation, affordable health care, the constitutional basis for environmental and labor regulation, separation of church and state -- these issues and more hang in the balance. Under these circumstances, liberal Democrats ought to ask themselves a big question: are they better off as the dominant force in an ideologically pure minority party, or as one of several influences in an ideologically varied party that can win at the polls? Perhaps environmentalists should ask themselves the same question. What do you think? Let me know …

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Local food

Here's a great AP story about colleges buying more food from local farmers. Students love it because it tastes better. School officials love it because it adds to the "quality of life" that attracts applicants. Cafeteria workers love it because they get to cook and prepare food again instead of just ripping open packages. Farmers with small- and medium-sized farms love it because it helps them stay above water. And environmentalists love it because it encourages the organic food industry and results in fewer miles of polluting transportation of food. Consider what's holding this back from spreading and becoming common …

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Packaging

Among the many assaults on our aesthetic and environmental sensibilities prosecuted by modern consumer culture, ugly and excessive packaging is among the most ... ugly and excessive. Luckily there are green alternatives and they are summarized aptly over at Treehugger.

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Chlorine and mercury

The Oceana Network has a splashy (ha ha) new report out today revealing that chlorine plants are responsible for scads of mercury emissions, possibly as much as all U.S. power plants combined. To get the details on chlorine plants in your state and find out what you can do to help, start with this post on the Oceana blog. Scary stuff.

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“America’s Providential History”

So I'm reading Harper's this morning, and they have an excerpt from America's Providential History, by Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell, published by the Providence Foundation. Says Harper's, "the authors hold courses and seminars based on the book that were attended by more than 25,000 last year." Take it away, fellas: A secular society lacks faith in God's Providence, and consequently men find fewer natural resources. The secular or socialist has a limited-resource mentality and views the world as a pie (there is only so much) that needs to be cut up so that everyone can have a …

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